Navigating iBooks (iBooks FRiDAY 2)

 

So you’re ready to make the leap to iBooks . . . but it’s not familiar. You’re not sure how to find your books, your library, how to find new content . . . and how to buy a book without that big familiar gold button?

Don’t worry. It’s so easy that you’ll be amazed. And I’m going to show you how in a few simple steps.

Here’s my iPhone screen. You can see that the iBooks icon is right there, with its open book. Touch it, and the app opens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what I see: it’s a screen that says ALL BOOKS–my iBooks library. I can have the books displayed by recently opened, alphabetical by title or author or by category. The titles are shown, with author name just beneath, and the covers are there, too. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s great, of course, but to have a library, first you need to find some books to buy or download. How do you do this? Just look down. See options on your bottom bar? The star is FEATURED books, basically the home page for the iBooks Store. Or you can touch TOP CHARTS to see the best-selling books. Or if you know the author/title/category of the book you want to read, touch SEARCH.

 

 

 

 

This is what you’ll see if you touch FEATURED. Across the top of the page is a slider, which offers special promotions, like iBooks Exclusive books and free or sale books. You can see preorders and trending/topical books, and you can flick through them all.

 

 

 

 

 

If you touch SEARCH, this is the page you’ll see. Notice the trending list–all clickable–and the search bar up top. You can type in author names, book titles, genres, sub-genres or just about anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll see that I typed in football, and I got a list of suggestions: football books, football romance and more. I can add more keywords to further define the search.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I clicked FOOTBALL ROMANCE. And this is my results page. Hmmm, there’s some seriously good stuff here! Liz Matis, Julie Brannagh and Bella Andre . . . so hard to choose what to read next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to check out Jami Davenport’s book GAME CHANGER. This is the book’s page. Notice the details, the reviews and the ‘related’ (more books by the author, more books in the series, also-boughts, more books like this and top books in the genre). You can also hit the SAMPLE button to get a taste before you purchase, or you can click the price button to BUY THE BOOK. If the book is free, instead of a price you’ll see the word GET there. And GET it you should!

 

 

 

 

Once you buy your book, it goes into your library, and all you have to do is touch the title in order to read it. The first page might look something like this. The blue arrow I drew points to the iBooks blue arrow–which takes you back to your library. The green arrow I drew points to the book’s table of contents. And I circled in green where you can adjust font size, search the book or bookmark a page.

 

 

 

 

So now you have it. Super easy, right? Nothing to it. My challenge to you now is to go play on iBooks. Open up the app on your iPhone or your iPad, and see what you can find. Check out some cool books by this chick Tawdra Kandle. Or, sure, anyone else. Whatever you like.

Next Friday I’ll tell you what iBook I read this week. I’ll just tell you it was soooooo freaking good! (That’s what we call an iTease.)

 

 

Why iBooks? (iBooks FRiDAY 1)

Once upon a time, I read books just the same way the rest of the world did: paperbacks or hard-cover books that I could hold in my hands and turn the pages . . . usually procured from the library or a book store.

And then came ebooks. I had a Nook first . . . I bought my first Kindle Fire well after I’d published my own books. But even before that, in 2011, I had my very first iPhone. Still, I didn’t know anything about iBooks (which wasn’t really even a thing then).

In the last three years, though, I’ve read more on my iPhone than on any other device. Yet I’ll admit it: I usually read using my Kindle app. I’ll bet many of you do, too.

Recently, though, I’ve realized that it’s kind of ridiculous. After all, my iBooks app is specifically designed to work on my iPhone. And there are features which are super-cool on iBooks, like integrated music and playlists . . . and many of my favorite authors release exclusively on iBooks now, too.

So I’ve made a commitment: for the next year, I’m only buying–and reading–my books on iBooks. I’m also going to share what I’m reading and maybe give you some fun things I learn about along the way.

Which leads us to the next part (a bonus post for this first iBooks FRiDAY) . . . which is about how to navigate in iBooks for those of us who haven’t been there before and might find it a bit confusing.

Read it here–and be sure to follow along with me!

Set the Books Free!

For the last year, I’ve put all my preorders up on iBooks long before they go onto Amazon. I’ve had emails and messages from readers, complaining about this, wanting the book on Amazon earlier.
 
What readers don’t always understand is the frustration we as authors deal with at Amazon. Right now, I’m at a breaking point with them.
I have a BookBub Featured Deal coming up. For those who don’t know, BookBub FDs are pricey. This one requires the book in question to be free.
 
On all the other vendors–Nook, iBooks, Kobo and Google–I can simply set the price of the book to FREE when I want to do that. It’s easy. And since this is my book I’m selling, it stands to reason that I should be able to set the price, right?
But not at Amazon.
At Amazon, I can’t set my own price. At Amazon, I have to send the company an email with the links to the books on the other vendors, acknowledge that Amazon has the right to price my book regardless of my intentions, and essentially beg them to price-match the book to free.
This is ludicrous. This is demeaning. This is ridiculous.
But it’s what we do. So this week, I priced the book in question to free on all the other vendors and then emailed Amazon. Their first response was that they would price match–but only in the US. In fact, though, they didn’t. So I emailed again to point that out . . . and finally, they did set the price to free.
At least, until yesterday, when they raised it back to full price, without notice or rhyme or reason.
I emailed them immediately and this morning, I received a form email essentially saying . . . no.
So I emailed again, this time cc’ing Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. Thus far, I’ve heard nothing, the book is still full-price, it’s after 5 PM on a long weekend, and my BookBub is on Tuesday. If the book isn’t free on Amazon on Tuesday morning, BookBub will refuse to run my deal, and I’ll be out a chunk of money I really can’t afford to lose.
Now, I’m not a big fish on Amazon. I’m not even a medium-sized guppy. I’m just a small fish, and Amazon cares very little about me, my books or the small income in brings them. That means if I decide to pull my books from this market, they won’t even notice.
But I’m getting darn close to doing it anyway. I’m tired of cowing to ridiculous terms of service that seem to be fairly arbitrary. I’m tired of there being one set of rules for some authors (those who were not required to be exclusive to be part of Kindle Unlimited, for example) and another for other authors. I’m tired of Amazon putting my books in price prison, giving me a less-than-fair royalty if I price my books over a certain point or under a certain point.
Readers, you are the ones with the true power here. Amazon needs you. You can tell them that you support authors and want them to price books according to their own needs. Let’s hope they listen.

Paperback Sale!

??Paperback sale! ??

I have a bunch of paperbacks that I’d like to sell so that I have room for the new Career Soldier Collection and some of the rebranded paperbacks. All the ones pictured below are what I have . . . and I’m listing how many of each.

All are signed–let me know how you want them personalized. Email me at tjkandle@gmail.com with your choice of books, shipping address, how you’d like them inscribed and your PayPal address for invoicing.

The following books are $10 each plus shipping:

WHEN WE WERE US (original cover)–5 copies available
THE PLAN–1 copy available
THE PATH–2 copies available
THE LAST ONE (original cover)–1 copy available
ALWAYS FOR YOU (original cover)–2 copies available
UNQUENCHABLE–1 copy available

The following books are $6 each plus shipping:

STARDUST ON THE SEA–1 copy available
MOONLIGHT ON THE MEADOW–1 copy available
THE FOX’S WAGER–2 copies available
BABY, I’M YOURS–1 copy available

Living a Double Life: How faith and romance coexist

My unusual situation has almost become part of my branding and schtick at author events. I’ll be in the middle of a panel about writing romance, and the question inevitably arises: “Are any of your plot lines based on your own love life?” and the ever-popular “How does your significant other feel about your 46975_452627834144_5854393_nbooks?”

When it’s my turn to answer, I usually play it up, with a deep sigh and an air of sharing a secret. “Well . . . my husband is a priest. So you can probably guess which plot lines are not based on my own life!” As for how he feels about my books . . . that’s a little more complicated.

To be fair, I was a writer long before my husband became a priest. I wasn’t a clergy wife who woke up one day and decided to write romance. I’d been writing for years, and while it’s true that I published my first book (a young adult paranormal romance) the December after my husband graduated from seminary, it had never crossed my mind that our careers could ever be considered incompatible. And for a while, they weren’t. He started out his career as a hospice chaplain, working for corporations who didn’t care what his wife did for a living.

Meanwhile, my first books were quite clean, with almost no language or sexual content. Of course, there were still some Christians who took umbrage with them because The King Quartet was paranormal, featuring witches and psychic phenomenon. From my point of view, though, this story of good versus evil was completely consistent with my beliefs. Christianity has a long tradition of literature that is written in metaphor. Some of the most famous of those books never even mention God by name. While I never intended Tasmyn’s story to be overtly religious, I didn’t see anything in it that should offend Christians.

My next books after The King Quartet were quite different. I’d moved away from young adult lit and into contemporary romance for adults. I was very excited about the story in The Posse, but because it was adult, and because I felt the plot called for it, I included a few love scenes. Oh, let’s not be coy; they were sex scenes, although they were fairly mild. But I found I really enjoyed writing books for adults and then eventually, for new adults, and I didn’t like to close the bedroom door, as they say.

Still, my husband continued to work for hospice at this point, and no one seemed to care about my smutty books, as my kids teased me.

In the summer of 2014, I wrote a new adult romance called The Last One. It would be one of my best-selling books, and it also contained some of my hottest sex scenes to date. That book released in 16423_10151353464799145_1026237428_nSeptember, about two weeks before my husband took his first position in parish ministry. I was a little nervous, but fortunately, I was able to fly under the radar when it came to church. Since we’d been attending the church where my husband was now serving, I wasn’t a new commodity. I was the same lady with purple hair I’d always been.

But then my not-so-secret identity began to crack a little. A few ladies in the church mentioned that they had read some of my books, and after some initial panic (mine!), I realized that the world wasn’t ending. No one stood up in the middle of church and pointed at me in condemnation.

Of course, I don’t necessarily flout my books in certain settings. I’ve had conversations with people who have roundly criticized any books with mystical elements–and sex? No. Just no. When they finish up by asking for a copy of one of my titles, I’m understandably a little reluctant to share. I’ve learned that redirection and stall tactics work every time.

I’m very blessed that my husband supports my work, no matter what. My kids, who are mostly grown, 10678164_10152498592689145_1076123883_odon’t read what I write (because ICK–who wants to read their mom’s sex scenes?), but they’re tolerant. I’ve had a few dear ladies at church whisper to me how much they enjoy my stories. One told me recently, “Father is a lucky man!”

I’m not naive, however, and I realize that there may come a point when we have to explain to someone in the church why I write the books I do. The truth is that although I understand my work will never be classified inspirational fiction, I don’t find it inconsistent with my faith. My love stories are between two consenting adults, who always end up in a committed, loving relationship by the end of the book. The choices they make might be different than those I made for myself and those I’d want for my kids, but they are within our cultural norms. I don’t write violence nor do I glorify irresponsible sex.

All of my books celebrate love, family and the triumph of good over evil. Some of my characters attend church, and it always portrayed in a positive light.

Sometimes I wonder if those who might judge my books harshly have read the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. It’s a love story, a beautiful recounting of a couple coming together, and although it is often described as a metaphor for God’s love for His people, there is no doubt that this is the most sensuous book in the Bible.

So how does it work, being a priest-and-romance-writer couple? Actually, it’s easy. We support each other, and we do whatever we can to help each other. When I’m traveling for work, I often miss Sunday services, but I try to make Wednesday mass. My husband usually can’t make my signings or events, but I know he’s got my back, and when I come home, he makes me dinner and spoils me while I recover.

When it comes down to it, our careers really aren’t that different. They’re both all about celebrating love . . . and could there be anything more beautiful than that?

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